The three reasons you should use portable EEHA on Australian hazardous area facilities

Temporary equipment is often brought into industrial facilities to help carry out maintenance, inspection, repair or upgrade work. However, the requirements for protecting against the introduction of ignition sources in potentially explosive atmospheres are sometimes not well understood, and the benefits of using correctly certified electrical equipment for hazardous areas can be surprising.

Below we discuss the top three reasons you should be using Ex-certified portable electrical equipment in hazardous areas (EEHA) on your next project.

1. To keep you and your people safe

Hazardous areas are commonly found in industrial facilities around flammable substances capable of creating an explosive atmosphere. If you work in one of these facilities, the risk of loss of containment and ignition of an explosive atmosphere is never far from your mind.

To keep you and everyone on the facility safe, electrical equipment for hazardous areas (EEHA) must be specially designed and certified and undergo regular inspections and maintenance to ensure it doesn’t introduce an ignition source.

Certified portable EEHA is the most effective and efficient way to manage your temporary equipment ignition risks and protect your most valuable asset – your people.

When carrying out facility repairs, maintenance, inspection or upgrades, non-Ex certified temporary electrical equipment can introduce ignition sources. An engineered control like portable IECEx certified electrical equipment is the most effective and efficient way to manage ignition risks in hazardous areas and protect your most valuable asset – your people.

2. Maintain compliance

Most Australian state and territory electrical regulations require that electrical equipment for use in hazardous areas be selected in accordance with AS/NZS (IEC) 60079-14 ‘Explosive atmospheres, Part 14: Design selection, erection and initial inspection’. The standard states that portable or transportable electrical equipment used in a hazardous area shall meet the appropriate equipment protection level (EPL).

In essence, if you are responsible for bringing temporary electrical equipment into a hazardous area in Australia, to comply with regulations, you must ensure it is Ex-certified and appropriately rated for the specific location.

To comply with regulations in Australia you must ensure temporary electrical equipment in hazardous areas is Ex-certified.

The standard also states that if Ex certified equipment isn’t ‘obtainable’, and non-Ex certified equipment is used, a documented risk management program shall be implemented, including training, procedures and controls and a hot work permit shall be issued for the use of the equipment.

When Ex-certified equipment isn’t an option, pressurised habitats can enhance your risk management program by encapsulating non-Ex equipment, providing ignition source control and ensuring risks are ALARP.

With the introduction of industrial manslaughter legislation in Australia, there has never been a more important time to ensure you comply and have taken all steps reasonably practicable to reduce your risk.

For most applications, IECEx certified portable electrical equipment is a simple, safe, and cost-effective way to maintain regulatory compliance on your next hazardous area project.

3. Reduce cost

In many cases the ignition risk management program required to use non-Ex certified equipment in hazardous areas involves a hot-work permit, gas detection and a standby-person to monitor and manually shut down equipment in the event of a loss of containment. With the high cost of labour in Australia, this method can be a very costly way to operate a piece of temporary equipment and is an ineffective and reactive approach to risk management.

When certified portable EEHA is available, it eliminates ignition risks, can be used continuously without monitoring or a hot work permit – reducing your temporary equipment costs by up to 90% and freeing up your resources to be more productive.

You might be surprised to know that IECEx certified portable EEHA can reduce your real temporary equipment costs by up to 90%.

Safehouse’s huge inventory of IECEx certified portable rental equipment includes air-conditioning units, lighting, power distribution systems, ventilation equipment, pressurised habitats and bespoke solutions – all designed to create safety and maximise productivity.

If you’d like to discover more about how our equipment can help to protect your people, maintain compliance, and reduce your project costs, get in touch.